Pearl Abyss, primarily known around these parts as the company that owns EVE Online and Black Desert, has released its third quarter earnings report for this year, and there are more than a few interesting through lines woven into the presentation.
First, the numbers: PA reported operating revenue hit 97.3 billion Korean won, which is a 3.5% increase from the same quarter last year, while operating profit rose 12% YoY. That said, net profit was down 33% QoQ and 20% YoY as profits were inflated in the previous quarter because of tax refunds.
In terms of game-specific earnings, both EVE and BDO brought in 4.5% more revenue in Q3, with EVE highlighted specifically for a 10.2% increase in revenue. However, an investor question regarding whether this trend would continue into future quarterly reports was reportedly ducked by PA, presumably because the revenue spike was a temporary injection prompted by subscription prices rising in May.
Pearl Abyss discussed its future prospects as well, specifically DokeV and Crimson Desert. More specifically, Crimson Desert is projected to wrap development in the second half of 2023, while DokeV isn’t launching in 2023 as gamers originally anticipated, which presumably means it won’t release until at least 2024 (though Pearl Abyss notes it hasn’t decided on a release window yet).
On the subject of DokeV, rumors have arisen that the core developers of DokeV have left the company, possibly due to interns leaving in the third quarter. None of these rumors was addressed during the call, but Pearl Abyss did say it’s “immersing itself on developing Crimson Desert.” The combination of bad news ultimately sent PA’s stock tumbling by 6%.
Finally, the earnings call told investors that PA is still chasing the blockchain dragon, which is primarily being handled by CCP Games on an unspecified new project. Executives on the call pointed out that negative player reaction to integrating the tech into CCP’s current games prompted the decision to shuffle the publisher’s NFT aspirations into something different.